September Runfessions!

Well, we made it through the month of September!  September is the month I probably look forward to the least because it signifies the end of summer. It's back to work, back to wearing REAL clothes, pants, and closed toe shoes.  However, this September felt like an extension of our summer. I can honestly say I have not even worn long pants yet (except for that evening I had to wear them in 90 degree weather to go up in the hot air balloon that never happened).   Of course the heat does not make for good running, but all that sunshine sure makes me happy!  That brings me to the Runfessions for this month.

1. Even though it put a damper on long distance running, I  Runfess I wasn't even mad about the heat this month!

2. Which makes me glad that I don't have a long distance race on my calendar for fall. I'm doing a marathon relay.  If I was doing anything longer than what my leg of the race would be, I'd be really far behind on my training.

3. I did signed up for that Monster Dash Halloween 5k!  I'll be running that with my mom. I haven't done a Halloween themed race since Wicked a few years back. I really want to dress in costume yet something easy to run in. Any suggestions?

4. Speaking of races, I was really bummed out for my sister this week. She BQ-ed last year at the Chicago Marathon and signed up for Boston last week.  She was under the cut off time by at least 3 minutes.  Turns out even with that cushion, she still didn't make it in.

5. Remember that Color Run I ran in August?  I won 2nd place in my Age Group but they didn't have enough medals. Well, I finally got the medal in the mail the other week.  It's nice to get mail, but it's definitely not the same as receiving it at a race. This may be the only medal I've never worn.

The Cat Burglar on the run?

I've been told that ya'll like when I tell stories from my runs, so I thought I would share this one!

Yesterday evening I met my mom down at the island to do our run.  When I arrived, my mom was already there waiting for me.  I got out of my car and greeted her and she came over to me and told me about a man she had been watching.

The man had a bag and had been up under this under pass. Then he came back down.  The man had already left by the time I arrived to meet my mom but I knew exactly who she was talking about. I said he was an older man, right?  Yes  she said.

I told her that I had seen this same guy two or three times already when I've been down there running recently. I wondered why he was walking up under that under pass and what he was doing up there. Was he stealing rocks? Was he hiding something?  Was he doing something illegal?

Well, I just wanted to find out so my mom and I walked over towards the under pass and I looked up under it.  Then I saw it.

Do you see it?  There were two adorable kitty cats up there!

The guy had given the cats a bowl and had been feeding them!  So that's why I would see him there in the evenings. He was taking care of them. See there really are good people in the world.  I feel bad thinking he may have been up to no good.

I have been running down here for years and I've never seen any stray cats so I found this to be odd. Why do they just stay under the under pass?  -M

Doggone truths from the trail

I mentioned earlier about us taking Baylee out in her cart.  I bought this cart (the comfort wagon) last fall because I was spending too much time out on the trail during the weekends and I was feeling guilty about always leaving Baylee at home.  During Marathon training Scott and I had a good system where he would ride his bike beside me while I ran. I thought by buying a cart, Baylee could join in on the family fun!  We only ended up using it once last fall. I was determined to use it more this year.

Friday night was our “trial” run since she hadn’t been in the cart since last fall.
We waited till the sun went down so it wasn’t so hot for her and then took her to the park. The cart is really easy to assemble as it just “pops up” and then we have to put on the wheels and then connect it to the bike. It really is easy peasy. We put in one of Baylee’s dog beds so she does have some comfort in there.   Scott pulled the cart while I ran beside her. There were times that she seemed to be content and then moments where I could tell she wasn’t loving it.  Scott said she just needed to get use to it. We would take it to the trail early the next morning and see how she did.

bike cart for dogs Yellow lab Baylee

Saturday morning we got up early and drove the cart and the bike to the rail trail.  We put her in and off we went.  We didn’t want to be too far away from our vehicle just in case we ran into any problems, so we decided to start at mile two, and ride a little ways down and then go back up the other direction and ride a little ways. In all it would give us 4 miles.

We would like to get to the point where we can unzip the little windows in the cart so Baylee can lay down and look out but today was not that day. She would go back and forth between sitting and standing but never was comfortable enough to lay down and relax.

We got to the first mile and decided to take a quick break. I used the restroom and Baylee had a drink.  Of course everyone that passed us on the trail thought her being in the cart was just the cutest thing.

bike wagon for dogs

As we rode back the other way, she was being antsy again. I only had the top flap open so she could stick her head out but there were times where I thought she might try to jump out, I had to keep patting her head and telling her she was a good dog as I ran beside her.

I Really wanted Baylee to enjoy riding in the cart because this would be a great way for our little family to spend time together but the truth is, I don’t think she likes it and I think I know why.  To her, she is an abled bodied dog.  She doesn’t realize that she has health problems. She likes to walk and run. She is still able to do both, but she should not be running.  She sees me running beside her (or in front or behind) and I think she wants to do it too. She is probably wondering Why am I in this box? I want to be out there running with my mama. I wonder if she sees being in the cart as a punishment?

For this reason, we did not continue our four miles and stopped at only 2.3. Besides, it was getting hot out and I can imagine it was even hotter in the cart since the windows had to be kept up.
I just wanted her to be able to join me in my happy place.

 After putting her through the stress of the cart and the trail, we took her home and left her swim.  I should have known that this right here is her happy place.   -M

                                           We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Weekly Wrap ...September 24

Last week I mentioned that I was going to run less days but do longer runs. Well that didn't happen. Since it's been so warm here, I wanted to be outside as much as possible so I continued to run several times during the week BUT because it's been so hot, my mileage was still low!

Monday- No running because I had a dinner date.

Tuesday I started running with my mom again. She's going to do some races with me this fall and next spring. She's basically starting from scratch again.  We did 2 miles running and then walked about a half mile more.  All I can say about this run was WAY TOO MUCH SUN! We even tried to take the shady roads and that did not help.

Wednesday I know I did 3 miles but I can not find any documentation!

Thursday it was another hot one but I managed to get in 4 miles. Thank goodness I had my blender bottle of water when I returned to my car!

I mentioned on Friday that I was looking forward to taking Baylee out in the bike cart this fall. Well, I just couldn't wait  so we waited until the sun went down on Friday night and took her for a practice stroll around the park. Scott pulled the cart with his bike and I ran beside. We only did a mile.

Saturday we got up early so we could take Baylee and the cart to the bike trail before it got too hot. Again, I ran beside the cart while Scott pulled it with the bike. It got too hot real quick so we only got in 2.3 miles before calling it quits.

We normally close our pool this weekend but since it was such a beautiful day Scott and I went to some outdoor markets and bought some fall decorations for our porch. We have it all decorated!  It almost doesn't feel right that it is 90 degrees and we are still swimming and then sitting on our porch all decorated with pumpkins.

Those of you who have pools, when do you usually close them? For those of you who live in the deep South, do you keep your pool open all year long?   -M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their weekly wrap.

Fall Hodgepodge

I don't know about you, but I really don't follow the calendar when it comes to seasons.  I understand the whole winter/spring/summer/fall solstice but in my mind Summer starts on Memorial day and it ends on Labor Day!

However, we still experience Summer like temps into September which is nice. It's hard to want to decorate with mums and hay bales and eat pumpkin spice everything when it is still 80 degrees out, but hey we'll take it!

We've already been #EnjoyingFall by going to Dog Days in the Maze and the Harvest Festival race and festivities, and that was even before fall officially started. So now I guess we have exactly 90 days (according to the calendar) to fit in as much fall fun as we can.

So what's on tap for fall?

The biggest thing on my calendar so far is the Baltimore Marathon with some lovely runner/blogger friends!

I'm also thinking about running a Monster Dash Halloween race. It seems to be a big deal in a neighboring town and might be fun to come up with a costumer to run in.

If I still feel like running in November, I'd like to finally do a Turkey Trot. The same organization that does the 4th of July race does a Turkey Trot. It's a big race but I need to find out if that killer hill is a part of it.  That may be a deal breaker.

I'm planning a Pumpkin Party! More details on this later but I already have my pumpkin popcorn!

Not that this is exactly an event, but as soon as the weather cools off, we plan to take Baylee out to the trail in her cart I bought her last year for her birthday. Remember that?  I've been wanting to take her out but it has just been too hot for her and her little heart.  So, yes, I'm looking forward to that.

So those are 5 little things I think will be fun to do this fall.  Please remember to join us by using the #EnjoyFall hashtag on IG.   -M

Saving little lives...sort of

Last weekend it was absolutely gorgeous out! You couldn't have asked for a better day. Baylee and I were out playing in the yard when Scott came out and said he was going to mow the lawn.

While he went to get the lawn tractor, Baylee and I walked around the yard "cleaning it up" when all of a sudden I happened upon this little guy.

Quite frankly, he kind of startled me. I was about to scoop him up into my poop bucket before I realized what it was. We had gone through this episode before several years ago, so I knew there would be more bunnies. I showed Scott the bunny and a few yards away we found the nest.

I wanted the bunny to be back in the nest with his brothers and sisters so Scott put on a pair of gloves and picked him up and put him back in the nest. As soon as he did that, another bunny jumped out! Now we had 2 bunnies out of the nest. I went into the garage to get a box to put them in so they wouldn't be laying in the yard when Scott mowed. As soon as we put the one bunny in the box, the rest of them started hopping out of the nest.

Before we knew it there were 6 bunnies running around our little front yard and up on our porch. I quickly put Baylee in the house. I didn't think she would attack the bunnies but I didn't want them to be startled by her. Honestly, I think she was more startled by all of them. She probably thought "what in the world is going on"?

Okay, so in the end, we did not put all the bunnies in a box. Scott was able to gather all 6 of them up (because I wanted them to be together), and placed them in them underneath the Holly bushes in our landscaping near the porch. They would be safe from the mower there. My job was to stand watch and make sure they did not scamper out into the yard, which they did not. Through this whole ordeal, we had our little neighbor boy (who is 6) in our yard with us. He really thought that was something to see with all those bunnies scampering around!

If you are wondering why we went through all this to make sure these bunnies were safe, it's because many years ago when we first moved here Scott accidentally rode over a bunnies nest that he did not see and those bunnies were not so lucky. From that point on, we've become more aware. -M

Harvest Festival 5K Race

This weekend I ran the Harvest 5K with my dad, sister, and friend.  I've run this race several times and even placed first in my age group before, but I haven't ran it in a few years.  I was hoping I could place first again.

The race is a local race, so even though I did not register ahead of time, the cost was only $15 which is a bargain. The race started  at 9:30 am which is normally a good thing since it's not too early but the weather this weekend did not feel like fall at all, it was more like a hot summer day. It would have been better if it was earlier to beat the heat and humidity.

We didn’t even leave the house until 8:45 am (it is only a 1.5 away from our house). Once I arrived, I went into the Municipal building and signed up for the race, and was able to use real restrooms which is always a plus.

Yes, the start line is right in front of the McDonalds!

Then we made our way over to the race start where they were starting a kids race. We watched that race then we began to make our way to the start line.

We lined up and there was a gun shot start and we were off. The course is a flat route that loops around the main portion of the town. It's kind of nice that it's all decorated festive for fall.  Of course I started off way too fast. I told myself I needed to slow down since we were only a quarter mile into the race. I did pass one lady, but then soon enough two other ladies passed me. Does anyone else eye up their competition?

 I thought ok there is only two other ladies ahead of me now, not knowing what their age group would be in since you only see their back when they are passing you. Shortly after, there was another lady that passed me. She did look a little younger than me but I wasn’t sure. I was struggling to keep up with the pace I was running, but I kept telling myself it’s only a 5k I can push myself more! I know you shouldn’t say “just” in any race because it’s an accomplishment but I am used to running much longer distances, not thinking of the pace you are trying to withstand for the distance. That is the challenging part.
Pictures are blurry because it was so humid.

We were coming up to the last stretch of the race and I knew there were three females still ahead of me. There was no way I was going to catch up to the first two, but the third one was right ahead of me. So I kicked it in high gear right at the end to make sure I crossed the finish line right before her, and I did!  After crossing, I was able to get my results printed out right away. I looked at the sheet and I saw I came in third. I was a bit disappointed since the last time I came in first.

Then I looked at the paper more closely and saw that I placed third female overall and 1st in my age group, with an average pace of 6:45. I felt much better about this.

My dad even placed 3rd in his age group. We waited for our medals to be handed out then we treated ourselves to a cupcake and whoopie pie. After eating that, I thought heck I better run home instead. So I ran the mile and half back to the house.  -L

Weekly Wrap ....September 17

September seems to be just flying by us already! Even though Fall "officially" starts this week, it certainly doesn't feel like fall here. That's okay though. I tried to #EnjoyFall last weekend by going to Dog Days in the corn Maze which was a blast, and this past week I enjoyed it by running our annual Harvest Festival 5K with my family. I thought maybe I would #EnjoyFall by getting a Fall like beverage but with weather like this, who needs a hot drink?

This week I continued to train for the Harvest 5K race which was on Saturday. Last year, I was determined to place in my age group so I ran this route almost every day over the summer.  It paid off because I won 2nd place.

This summer I did not run the route at all. I just started running it a few weeks ago.  Probably that coupled with the heat and humidity and a very stiff left leg, made for a challenging race for me on Saturday morning. Needless to say, I did not place. Even though I usually finish somewhere in the 20's for this race, The third place female in my age group finished in 23 minutes. I knew I couldn't beat that anyway so I really wasn't that upset about not placing.

My sister had a better race than I did so I will let her give a race recap later this week.

I did enjoy the rest of the afternoon though. After the race we enjoyed the festival a bit. We got some fall treats from a cupcake truck and shopped around at some other food and craft vendors.  Later that afternoon, we walked back to town to watch some of the Harvest parade.  We had to leave before it was over because I had a date later that evening.

This was the balloon I was scheduled to fly in. It's name is "Lucy in the sky with diamonds".

So my date was that Scott had bought me a ticket for a hot air balloon ride.  I had never done one of these before and ever since we visited Sedona in 2009, it was something I've wanted to do.  I was told to wear long pants, closed shoes, and wear layers. So I did. I hated the thought of putting jeans on since it was like 90 degrees out.  When we got to the debriefing area and people started to show up I increasingly became more agitated. I was sweating bullets in my jeans and sneakers while other people were wearing shorts and flip flops.  I immediately texted my friend Megan who is a fellow rule follower to share my disgust (it must be a teacher thing).  She shared with me a similar incident.  Nobody said anything to the people who were dressed inappropriately. Anyway, our Flight was delayed once for weather. It was an absolutely beautiful day out but they could see a storm in the direction we were suppose to fly. Then at 5:15 pm they officially cancelled the flight. by 5:20 pm , it was pouring buckets. Of course I was a little disappointed but understand that safety comes first.

This week and this weekend were very busy and I'm looking forward to a bit of slower pace this coming week. Now that the 5K is over, I planned to do less running this week. I will run longer, just not as many days.   -M

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

The Most Shocking things I've seen on my running routes

I tend to come across a lot of crazy stuff on my runs. Is it just coincidence or am I am pretty observant runner? I don't know. I guess maybe my running routes are just more entertaining than most! Or maybe I just tend to run at the wrong place at the wrong time!

Dog Days in the Maze

On Sunday my mom and I took Belle and Baylee to Dog Days in the Maze. The corn maze was located at a local Christmas Tree farm which transforms into a fall playground.

There were plenty of activities to choose from but we chose to do the corn maze.  The maze was $10 for adults and free for the dogs. There was actually tax on top of our admission price which I was surprised about and had to go back out to my car to get some change.

When I paid the admission for us, we were each given a wrist band, a map, and a "suspect card".  I had never done a corm maze before so I had no idea what to expect. I  didn't think it was going to be a scavenger hunt, but that certainly made it fun.

Here were the rules:

 corn maze

Pick a trail: short (red) or long (green).  We chose to do the long trail at over 3.2 miles. Of course we went over 3 miles because we didn't exactly know which way we were going.

Stamp your card at each station to show that you checked in there. There were 12 stations and each had a different stamp.  We checked in at all 12 stations. Some of them we found by accident.

There were 3 Santas on the course and you had to take selfies (or dog photos) with each of them if you could find them.  We found all three. If you share your pics on their Facebook page you get entered in a contest for a gift certificate to their store. They claim to have the largest Christmas Ornament Store.

Also, there were clue cards.

There were pictures set up in the maze (these were more difficult to find), and in the picture you had to look for a suspect, a weapon, and a location.  Again, each one had a different stamp. As you can see, we only found 3 sets of them. If you found all of them, you were entered for a prize.

If it was just my mom and I, we probably would have played around in the maze until we found all the suspects, but it was really hot and I had forgotten the water bottle for the dogs in the car.

Belle's wearing her Lion Mane!

I thought since the event was geared towards dogs today, that they might have water stations set up in the maze, but they didn't. They did however, have large water bowls at the entrance and exit of the maze, so we did walk out twice so the dogs could get a drink. ( I don't normally let my dog drink out of community dog bowls but I made an exception since it was so hot and they had walked so far).

This was my first time in a corn maze and I can actually say it was a lot of fun and I wouldn't mind doing it again sans dogs. There are a few nights where they do it at night and you need flashlights. I'm not sure if I would want to go at that time.

Oh, and it turned out even though we checked in at all 12 check points, we only needed to check in at the 6 that were along the green route, I don't know what we were thinking, but we had fun!

Have you ever done a a corn maze? If so, was it like a scavenger hunt?  -M   #EnjoyFall

Stories from the trail

I have a few regular routes that I normally run. I pick these routes because they are safe and comfortable. One of my favorites is the Rail Trail.  I haven't been going to the Rail Trail as often as I would like for two reasons. 1) It's a farther drive than my other routes. It's not far, but my other routes are closer, that's all.   2) I don't feel the need to go if I'm not running long distance. The trail is great for long distance running as you can easily do 18 miles on it. You can do more if you deviated off the trail and loop through some of the neighborhoods along it. This was my route during the two marathons I trained for.

On Friday,  it was warm and sunny all day and I couldn't wait to get out for a run when work was over. On the way home it started to rain and by the time I got home I had noticed the rain had significantly cooled things off.  I had to run some errands near the trail, so I thought why not make an evening of it.  I put on a pair of running capris, a tank, and debated on whether or not to bring my windbreaker in case it started to rain again.  Because I putzed around at the house, I didn't get to the trail till around 6:00 pm.

I decided to mix things up a bit. Because my errands were at the other end of town, I decided to park at the trail head that was 5 miles into the trail. I've never done this before.  I've of course ran down this  way before, but never started here.  Because I haven't been running long distances lately, I haven't been down this way in a while. (I'm not saying 5 miles is long distance, but 10 miles is and that's what I would have had to be running to get here : 5 miles up and 5 miles back.

Anyway, as I got out of my car, I just had to take a minute tp look at how lovely things are here. It really started making me excited for Fall but I quickly realized I was SO completely overdressed!
The rain may have cooled things down for a bit, but it got real hot real fast. And I'm in pants/capris.

  Since it was already 6pm, I was wondering how many miles I could "safely" run before it gets dark. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you've quickly realized that I don't always make the best decisions when it comes to running. When I come to run, I stay on the trail and get it done regardless of daylight or weather situations. Well, I'm changing my ways and want to be a more "responsible runner"!

Well, apparently the "responsible runner" was not starting today! After doing a very speedy first mile, I quickly realized that I forgot my water bottle at home.  I was already overheated from wearing these black pants and now knowing that I would not have any water waiting for when I got back to the car made me nervous.  Because I  still had to get my errands done after this run, I decided to stop at only two. I am not calling this run a "wimp out" run though because they were 2 of the fasted miles I've run in a long time. The second was even faster than the first, which hardly ever happens!

Check out some of the things I've seen on the trail.

Behind this sign was a little hut with drinks and goodies. I did not bring any money with me so I did not have anything but I noticed they had Oreo Whoopie Pies. I've never had an Oreo flavored one before but it sounds yummy. If you are not from the East Coast I realize you may not know what a Whoopie pie is.  Even though I didn't have anything, I thought this was nice to see.

I saw this little guy too. I've seen him before.  He's a miniature pony. Although I don't know where he lives during the night, during the day his family ties him on a rope out in front of their yard, kind of like a dog. (But let it be known I would never tie my dog out on a rope).  Anyway, I find it rather odd. The rope isn't even that long either. I wonder if they do it just to entertain the people using the trail?  One of these days I want to go up an pet him but I suppose I should seek permission first.

Even though I only spent a short amount of time here, it is making me excited to spend more time here this fall.   -M

What did you see along your last run? Have you ever had a Whoopie pie?

                                            We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.